Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat


March 11, 2006

Remnants of the New Deal


Following a plan already in place at many of the national parks, the state park designers incorporated a look described as “naturalistic architecture.”

Stone steps, bridges and foundations were designed to look as an inherent extension of the land they were built upon. The area near the lake and swimming pool offers a picturesque backdrop that showcases this standard.

Native gypsum rock along the lake walls and drainage culvert extend outward from the ground as if in a naturally formed pattern.

The large bathhouse that welcomes visitors to the swimming pool is also solidly built with the same type of rock and includes log supports.

The community building at the group camp is a testament to solid construction and craftsmanship learned by the workers.

Thick log beams make up the roof trusses, and large cut native stones line the outside of the building. A covered shelter near the cabins, also made from the same type rock is nestled in a hill blending into the terrain.

The park is a favorite for those who like to get away and enjoy a quiet moment or to watch the variety of wildlife that stroll through.

Work by the Corps began at Roman Nose State Park in 1935, however it wasn’t officially opened until 1937 and some structures weren’t completed until the next year.

Built on land donated by the Cronkhite Family, the park is named after Henry Roman Nose, a southern Cheyenne Tribal Chief whose family also donated land and who once lived within the boundaries. The canyons, mesas and natural gypsum rock in the area contributed to the materials that helped shape the park.

The most recognized structure is the large, rock swimming pool. When it was first built, the water in the pool was spring-fed and the icy water offered quite a wake-up call to the many swimmers who gathered in the hot summer months of western Oklahoma.

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